(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – This week, the Reagan Institute’s Reagan Task Force released a report outlining its recommendations to strengthen America’s National Security Innovation Base (NSIB). The report, the “Contest for Innovation: Strengthening America’s National Security Innovation Base in an Era of Strategic Competition,” addresses key challenges facing the Department of Defense (DoD) as it prepares for the future constructs of warfare. Rep. Jim Banks’ served as Commissioner on the Reagan Task Force for nearly a year and his input was critical in shaping the report and its recommendations.
“The Reagan Task Force’s report is the product of a year’s worth of hard work from some of the defense community’s sharpest minds. Policymakers will look to this report to equip the U.S. military to rapidly respond to a changing defense landscape. It was an honor to work on this important Task Force and prepare the United States for the new, emerging national security challenges as we enter an era of Great Power Competition.” said Rep. Banks.
The Task Force was co-chaired by former Senator Jim Talent (R-MO) and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work. Representatives Andy Kim (D-NJ), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), and Mike Gallagher (R-WI) all served on the Task Force with Rep. Jim Banks.
Rep. Banks applauds the Task Force’s focus on espionage risks posed by foreign exchange student involvement in Department of Defense (DoD) funded research projects. Rep. Banks’ Protect our Universities Act of 2019 mitigates that risk by requiring exchange students from adversarial nations to receive waivers from the Director of National Intelligence in order to work on DoD funded projects.
The report also found that emerging research, such as hypersonic weapons, must be prioritized by the National Security Innovation Base. Fort Wayne, Indiana is home to several key defense research technologies, such as electronic warfare tools and hypersonics research. Hoosiers lead in defense innovation and the Task Force found that the DoD’s research partnerships with Purdue were exemplary, recommending similar partnerships throughout the country.
● A “National Security Innovation Committee,” a new U.S. government interagency coordinating body responsible for enabling, developing, guiding, and safeguarding the NSIB.
● A national “STEM Corps,” where students receive free university tuition in national-security-relevant fields and commit to spending several years working within a component of the NSIB ecosystem.
● A “National Security Innovation Base Visa” that would encourage appropriately vetted, highly skilled foreign workers to contribute their education and talents to the benefit of the NSIB.
● A “Partnership for a Strong Innovation Base,” a new international framework to help the NSIB capitalize on the capabilities of the United States’ most trusted allies.
● A number of reforms to the way the Department of Defense does business, with the goal of acculturating its technology acquisition to the more risk-positive nature of the NSIB and driving incentives for private-sector actors to participate more purposefully and robustly in the NSIB.
Read the report HERE